Title: Umbilical cord blood banking: economic and therapeutic challenges

Authors: Gregory Katz-Benichou

Addresses: Chair in Bioethics and Drug Innovation, ESSEC Business School, Paris; ESSEC, Avenue Bernard Hirsch, 95021 Cergy Cedex, France.

Abstract: Since the first successful transplantation of umbilical cord blood in 1987, cord blood has become an important source of haematopoietic stem cells for the treatment of blood and genetic disorders. Important progress has been accompanied by challenges for scientists, ethicists and health policy-makers. With the increasing focus on cord blood as an alternative to human embryos and as a source of tissue for regenerative medicine, umbilical cord blood stem cells have attracted significant attention. In this paper, we review the therapeutic challenges and the competition between private and public cord blood banks, and also between cord blood inventories and bone marrow registries. We provide an international overview of banking activities, with a special focus on the French paradox. From access to bioresources to patent controversies, we analyse the economic impact of cord blood banking on health policies, and then discuss some ethical dilemmas of stem cell research.

Keywords: banking; bioethics; bone marrow; cell therapy; cord blood; health policy; regenerative medicine; stem cells; transplantation; genetics; healthcare technology; umbilical cord; blood banks; blood disorders; genetic disorders; therapeutics; France; economics; ethics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2007.013517

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2007 Vol.8 No.5, pp.464 - 477

Available online: 03 May 2007

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